AAA: Independence Day Travel Numbers Will Break Records
AURORA, Ill., (June 27, 2016) – AAA projects nearly 43 million Americans will travel this Independence Day weekend. This represents the highest fourth of July travel volume on record and five million more travelers compared to Memorial Day weekend. The holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, June 30 to Monday, July 4.
In Illinois, 2.3 million people will be traveling for the holiday weekend, which is a one percent increase from 2015. Of those travelers, two million will be driving (up one percent from 2015) and 104,000 will be flying to their destination (a .5 percent increase from 2015). Gas prices across Illinois are on average $2.55, down substantially from $3.00 in 2015.
In Indiana, one million people are expected to travel, which is a 1.3 percent increase from 2015. Of those, 890,000 are expected to travel by auto (1.2 percent increase) and about 45,000 by air (.2 percent decrease). In Indiana, gas prices are on average $2.38 per gallon, down from $2.79 this time last year. The average price nationally for gas is $2.33. AAA expects most U.S. drivers will pay the lowest Independence Day gas prices since 2005.
“Independence Day is always the most-traveled holiday of the summer, but this year it will be bigger than ever, primarily because of low gas prices,” said Joseph J. Richardson Jr., President and CEO, AAA - The Auto Club Group. “Airports will be just as crowded as the roads, because low fuel prices are making it more affordable to fly. If fundamentals remain the same, this could be a record-breaking year for summertime travel.”
Low gas prices driving increase in auto travel this Independence Day
Eighty-four percent of holiday travelers – more than 36 million people – will drive to their Independence Day destinations, an increase of 1.2 percent over last year. Air travel is expected to increase 2.2 percent over last year, with 3.3 million Americans taking to the skies this Independence Day. Travel by other modes of transportation, including cruises, trains and buses, will increase two percent to 3.3 million travelers. Most of those travelers are expected to fill cruise cabins and AAA’s holiday cruise bookings are 35 percent higher than last Independence Day.
Airfares and hotel rates lower than last Independence Day
According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, average airfares for the top 40 domestic flight routes will be nine percent less this Independence Day, with an average roundtrip ticket costing $207. Hotel costs have fallen slightly compared to last Independence Day. AAA Three Diamond Rated hotels will average $185, while a AAA Two Diamond Rated hotel will average $144 nightly. Daily car rental rates will average $75, six percent more than last year.
More than 370,000 Independence Day motorists to request roadside assistance
AAA expects to rescue more than 370,000 motorists during the Independence Day holiday travel period, with the primary reasons being dead batteries, lockouts and flat tires. AAA recommends motorists check the condition of their battery and tires before heading out on a road trip. Also, have vehicles inspected by a trusted repair shop, such as one of the nearly 7,000 AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities across North America. Members can download the AAA Mobile app, visit AAA.com or call 1-800-AAA-HELP to request roadside assistance.
AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Global Insight. The Colorado-based business information provider teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during major holidays. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades. The complete AAA/IHS Global Insight 2016 Independence Day holiday travel forecast can be found here.